How do you find new customers? You have a great facility in a good location, nice pastures, amazing barn help, excellent vets, farriers, trainers and other service providers. With all that going for you, shouldn't word-of-mouth marketing be your best advertising tool?
Consider this: You’ve heard the old question: If a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one there to hear it, did it make a sound? So how does that apply to your business? Consider: If you have the best farm or stable and services to offer someone and they don’t know you exist, are you really in business?
You want your business to be successful, thus you focus on providing quality facilities and services to your clients. But, in your responsibility to your business, are you spending time on marketing yourself? That is part of your duty to your business.
You might say: “But what about my current clients? Won’t they think I’m ignoring them if I am working so hard to find other clients?”
First you need to understand that the more viable your business is in general and the greater your network, the better you can work with current clients. What if your next new client is that one linchpin that was needed to move an existing client the next step in their equine business (or pleasure) process? More than likely you are working in one segment of the industry, and you can be that one person who can hold the networking reins to allow other businesses to get connected and be more profitable.
And you don’t have to be in marketing to do that!
I know lots of feed sales reps, veterinarians, farriers, and others in the service and product industries who constantly use their networking skills to assist current clients. While that doesn’t sell more feed or put more boarders in your barn, it does make those people more loyal to you. Then they recommend you, and you can expand your network even more for yourself, and your clients.
Don’t be intimidated when thinking about how your current customers will feel as you add new customers. The business you grow might be your own, or theirs!
But marketing goes much further than just word-of-mouth. You need to keep your website up-to-date, use social media to tell your story, and get out in the industry and network.
Marketing is one part of running your equine business, just like mowing the fields or cleaning the stalls. Whether it is your favorite part is irrevelant; it still has to be done for you to continue being successful and growing.